This article is part of CMO.com’s February series about mobile. Click here for more.
We are no longer just consumers. Today we are connected consumers. As mobile has slipped into the fabric of our daily lives, we have become increasingly reliant on our devices to communicate, shop, and navigate our way through both our online and physical lives.
According to the latest Touchpoints research from the IPA, U.K. consumers spend just short of eight hours consuming media on an average day. The story is the same in the U.S., according to new Adobe research. Mobile devices provide the universal access point where content converges, whether that’s for music, news, social media, the internet, film, or TV.
But our increasing dependency on mobile is not the only area where habits are changing. Touchpoints also highlighted that adults now spend an average of nearly three-and-a-half hours out of home each day, up from an average of three hours and 14 minutes in 2016. The intersection of these worlds is emerging as fertile ground for marketers looking to exploit the power of location.
In particular, mobile’s influence is being felt in OOH in five key areas.
1. Campaign planning: Investment in existing audience measurement tools means the data used to plan OOH campaigns is increasingly robust and offers greater levels of granularity and precision.
At the same time, mobile carriers also can offer a vast breadth of consumer location data, which has the potential to bring an additional valuable layer to the planning process. Aggregated and anonymised carrier data allows us to target by browsing behaviour and to understand how our cohorts navigate the real world by hour and day. Overlaying data from tools with carrier data brings powerful possibilities and efficiencies to OOH planning and scheduling and underlines the medium’s growing strength in offering a “targeted broadcast.”
2. Connectivity: Adding elements of mobile interaction through technology, such as beacons, brings direct engagement between audiences and OOH environments. While this functionality has been around for some time, it is growing as an effective vehicle for proximity marketing in areas with high dwell time, such as bus shelters.
Additionally, some technologies are taking this potential further. Hyper-local Wi-Fi networks, for example, remove the need for an app or even avoid the need for 4G connectivity. That means they can be used to deliver highly engaging, content-rich user experiences, such as video, direct to the consumer’s device at incredibly high speed within a radius of up to 15 metres of the OOH frame.
3. Geofencing: Geofenced mobile targeting is now a commonly used technique, but it best extends the OOH campaign where consumers have high dwell time and are likely to be active on their mobile devices.
Spaces such as shopping malls, train stations, pedestrianised shopping districts, and airports provide sufficient scale of area and levels of footfall to link consumers’ exposure to an OOH campaign (whether on traditional or digital media) with mobile targeting.
The benefits of this contextual targeting approach are clear, particularly in retail environments, where relevant audience segments can be pushed toward specific outlets. Following initial targeting within the geofenced area, brands are also able to retarget audiences via mobile at a subsequent time and relevant place, with ads triggered based on the consumer’s prior exposure to the OOH campaign.
4. Accountability: Taking this approach a step further, consumers’ mobile devices can be identified where they have been exposed to OOH campaigns to measure the impact and subsequent uplift on traffic in store for weeks after the initial OOH exposure.
Data gleaned (and cleaned) from mobile ad exchanges or increasingly from SDK (app) data can be used to analyse movement post-exposure to assess the impact on footfall. In a recent case for one retail client, Kinetic identified a 37% uplift in the likelihood of a shopper turning up in-store after being exposed to the brand’s creative.
5. Social: OOH’s strong link to mobile makes it a powerful medium for driving social media activation. Content that can be scanned can encourage people to pull out their phones and interact with the world around them, providing a measurable uplift in campaign engagement among audiences. Snapcodes, for example, are being used to unlock additional content and special offers among Snapchat users, demonstrating the powerful potential when there is crossover between the digital and physical worlds.
In conclusion, it’s clear that location is playing an increasingly important role for marketers. Research from BIA/Kelsey predicts that spending on location-targeted ads will hit $32.4 billion by 2021, a jump of 161% from 2016 levels.
While mobile is grabbing a lot of the headlines, even more potential exists from the medium with the most experience in planning and trading by location. The potential for location-targeted mobile advertising can be fully unlocked when it is combined with OOH’s understanding of today’s on-the-move connected consumer.